Shannon Elizabeth Hardwick

The Scorpion

Remember when Deborah drank too much and we were holding her up and it was autumn as it is now, but a decade ago, and we laughed like children—God, we were children—and remember her face an open moon we could walk through but it was late and we had to catch the last train? Remember saying, I’ll walk you home, and then, If God was a rowboat, would you go sailing without me? so I said, to avoid the question, Look, the clock above Grand Central is a scorpion who will enter our brains the next time we forgot how it felt tonight, eating the earth. And you replied, half-awake, The earth ate us back, didn’t it? And I said, Yes.

In our dream band, on clarinet:

Shannon Elizabeth Hardwick’s work has appeared, or is forthcoming, in Gulf Coast Journal, Salamander Magazine, The Texas Observer, The Missouri Review, Four Way Review, Harpur Palate, Passages North, among others. Hardwick serves as the poetry editor for The Boiler Journal.

Photograph by Heidi Stock

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